Hand emerges as top junior, Anzalone's recruitment still unclear
In this week's Recruiting Roundup, Rivals.com's Mike Farrell explores the rise of Da'Shawn Hand, the decision of Alex Anzalone, and the rocky recruitment of Thomas Tyner.
• Around last April, I tweeted that Woodbridge (Va.) Woodbridge Senior defensive end
However, if you go to see a Woodbridge Senior High School football game, you won't see a monster rush end working off the edge and stringing running plays to the outside. What you'll see is a 6-foot-4, 260-pounder playing out of position at defensive tackle where it's his job to hold up three blockers to free his teammates.
Hand might be frustrated with such a role, but it's not evident when talking to him. Hand is also playing left tackle on offense and looks as good as most offensive tackles in the country for 2014. Despite all the attention (center and both guards on almost every play), Hand still had three tackles for a loss, a sack, a forced fumble and batted down a pass in a tough loss to Woodbridge (Va.) C.D. Hylton.
Hand is still No. 1 in the country in my eyes even if he won't be able to work on his pass-rushing skills right now. Playing as a defensive tackle has made him a more physical prospect and tougher against the run.
• Pennsylvania linebacker
Anzalone had previously committed to Ohio State but de-committed from the Buckeyes after an unofficial visit to Florida. He eventually committed to Notre Dame, but took a visit to Gainesville for Friday Night Lights and then visited for the LSU game.
Rumor had it that there were two silent defensive commitments to come out of that game, that Anzalone had already filled out enrollment paperwork for Florida; when he cancelled his official visit to Notre Dame for the BYU game this past weekend, the signs appeared clear. Now, it depends if Anzalone says it out loud.
It's all a bit crazy, but the Gators were the early favorite for him. His father attended Florida and I think Muschamp and his staff was always going to be in this until the end. The good news is that this will likely be the last commitment for Anzalone.
• Speaking of crazy, Oregon running back
Kelly likely told him he's no longer a commitment if he does, so Tyner decommitted, albeit briefly.
Tyner loves Oregon and he belongs with the Ducks' high-speed offense. UCLA, Oregon State and others won't stop recruiting him, but this one should be over.
• Speaking of Green, his recruitment is especially intriguing. Green has listed the Ducks as one of his finalists and liked his trip, but Oregon has always been a long shot, even for an official visit.
It's unclear if Oregon will back off as part of getting Tyner back in the fold or not, but it shouldn't matter -- Green isn't going there. Green appears to be the perfect fit as a Big Ten running back. His other two favorites, Auburn and Tennessee, have coaches on very hot seats. Michigan has to be the final destination, right? It makes sense, but sometimes recruiting makes no sense.
• Texas A&M lost to LSU, but the Aggies are a fun team to watch and not only because of Johnny Manziel. The team has a lot of talent, and with the SEC swagger they now possess, the Aggies will be a recruiting force not only in Texas but in SEC states as well.
The passing of his uncle this past weekend kept him from a big visit weekend in Ann Arbor, but I still think the Wolverines are his future home until he actually takes one of the two trips he wants to take to OU and Oklahoma State.
• It looks like Hawaii linebacker
If Savaiinaea decided to follow Te'o from Punahou to South Bend, the comparisons would be inevitable and the talent level of the two is vastly different. There is no way he could live up to the legend of Te'o.
• Oregon State is undefeated, in the top 10 in the BCS standings and the Beavers will get a bit of a recruiting push as a result. One such example is the visit this past weekend by quarterback
There is no way Del Rio looks at the Beavers without Mike Riley as the coach. In mid-June, I was very critical as the Beavers were the only BCS school without a commitment, but now that might play to the coach's advantage.
• I think
• I think
His official visit on Nov. 10 will be with two fellow Florida prospects,
• Gators fans were excited that the nation's No. 5 prospect, tight end
• Alabama is going to make a strong run at Pennsylvania wide receiver